As my congressman Rahm Emanuel has been named President-Elect Obama's Chief of Staff I thought that I would repost a piece from about a year ago in which I defended Mr. Emanuel from the charge of racism leveled at him by Kos himself. This is from November 10, 2007
Okay, if it takes a "member of the vast right-wing conspiracy" to defend Rahm Emanuel
(D-IL) then things are not going all that swimmingly over on the other side of the pool. Yesterday, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos asked whether
Rahm Emanuel is a racist. A few weeks ago I read a comment stream on Ellen's Tenth...
concerning Rahm and Rep. Mark Kirk
(R-IL) that was bizarre even for those folks. So what the heck is going on?
Methinks that some folks are trying to move any blame concerning the current congress away from the more outwardly liberal Pelosi and toward the more centrist Emanuel. Some commenters over at Ellen's place and on the regressive Daily Kos don't seem to understand what Rahm did last year. He recruited good centrist candidates in vulnerable districts around the nation and not only were those candidates successful but they gave the Democratic Party its current House majority. Amusingly one or more of the commenters thought that Rahm had attended high school with Mark Kirk, Rahm attended New Trier West at the same time that Mark attended New Trier East, so to answer one commenter, no Rahm did not beat up Mark in high school.
As I have noted a few times on this blog
I have met and talked politics with Rahm on numerous occasions as we have mutual friends. In addition, as I wrote here
, I have voted for Rahm, he is my congressman. This is in no way an endorsement of most of his policies but rather a statement that Rahm is generally reasonable, I certainly have taken him to task
on this blog but I have also been supportive
where need be.More to the point, last year I talked to Rahm about the world of political blogging in general and the Daily Kos in particular, I wrote about that conversation here
. The first time that I wrote about that conversation was before the 2006 election and I noted
:During our recent conversation we discussed the then upcoming Connecticut Senate primary and the involvement of certain blogs in the race. The conversation was private so I will not divulge anything past what one could reasonably discern from his public statements. Mr. Emanuel was animated at the mention of those blogs and he genuinely seemed to understand the possible problems that some of those bloggers and their readers could pose for the image of the Democratic Party. We were in a public place so those comments were made to me with a somewhat hushed voice; this district has a very large population of committed left wing moonbats.A few days later I had a chance to speak to one of our mutual friends, a man who is one of the original Friends of Bill (Clinton), and we both agreed that although Mr. Emanuel uses the red meat rhetoric of the left wing, he was much more practical and down to earth than he often sounds. This gentleman (the FOB) said that he wasn’t surprised that Mr. Emanuel was leery of the left side of the blogosphere and that he was trying to blunt their effect on the party, Mr. Emanuel has always struck this Southern gentleman as more down to earth than the leftists who are in ascendancy in the Democratic Party.
After the election I wrote
:Last summer I had the chance to discuss politics with my Congressman, Rahm Emanuel; during that conversation (see this post) we discussed the problems that the unhinged left could cause for the Democrats. He clearly understood those problems and voiced serious concerns about them. As it is now after the election I feel less constrained to discuss our largely private conversation. He was very animated while discussing the folks over at the Daily Kos, saying that they had never won anything; on that point he sounded like a conservative blogger. Because Mr. Emanuel worked so closely with the Clintons I had no problem bringing up that issue with him, after all the triangulation strategy also relies on the center and the right. I believed then, as I believe today that the nation is better off without one of our two political parties going off of the deep end. He understood my concerns and as I said, he was as animated as one could be as an office holder in a public place in an area populated by very liberal people. At the end of our conversation I wished him well in his attempt to bring the party towards the center. Clearly Mr. Emanuel’s strategy was to find candidates who appeared to be centrist; they also seemed to lean towards former servicepersons. He certainly was successful.Okay, so Rahm Emanuel is too centrist for Markos of the Daily Kos and the average leftists in the Democratic Party, that is a dog bites man story, or as President Clinton might say, that dog won't hunt. The interesting aspect is how this internecine warfare will affect the next election, which by the way is 51 weeks from next Tuesday. Rahm's concerns during the last election cycle centered around the tendency of some in the Democratic Party to undertake unproductive political projects and to be, for the lack of better phrasing, somewhat obnoxious. He also repeatedly pointed out in reference to Kos people, "they have never won anything."
Rahm left his post at the Democratic Congressional Committee and is currently the Chair of the Democratic Caucus, it is his actions in that office that currently have him in hot water with the Kos crowd. Rep. Chris Van Hollen
(D-Md) is currently in charge of the Democratic effort to keep control of the House so he may be the next one under the Kos gun.
Labels: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Rahm Emanuel